A poster titles “A woman, a cave, and a camera,” with pictures and text. The text talks about Frances Benjamin Johnston, and the pictures include Johnston in period clothing, a picture of her crew consisting of four men and one woman, and several examples of her cave photography

A poster from the Mammoth Cave Museum that includes Johnston’s story, pictures of her caving crew, and some of her cave photography

Frances Benjamin Johnston became interested by photography in the late 1800s and started her
career as a successful photojournalist. This poster located in the museum at Mammoth Cave, describes the work she did in pioneering cave photography with her series “Mammoth Cave by Flashlight.” The poster touches on Johnston’s “Bohemian lifestyle,” but fails to mention the specifics: Johnston’s lesbianism and longtime relationship with a woman, Mattie Edwards Hewitt. Johnston’s success throughout her life demonstrates that LGBT women can succeed just the same as men, and sh inspired many women to join the fields of photography and journalism.

A picture of Frances Benjamin Johnston sitting on a stool. She is in a fancy period dress, but it is pulled up to show off her leg. She is smoking a cigarette, and holds a pitcher of beer in the other hand.

Frances, smoking a cigarette, holding a pitcher of beer, and showing off her legs

A half-body portrait of a middle aged woman. She is wearing a white blouse, black hat, and fur neck piece. She is smiling slightly.

An example of Johnston’s portraiture that just so happens to be a picture of her long-time parter in life and photography, Mattie Edwards Hewitt